Thursday, September 27, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
The Adjutancy was established in 1970 by an African American Pentecostal Bishop named J. (Jessie) Delano Ellis, II, while serving in The Church of God in Christ. Bishop Ellis saw the need to create a “corp of men” (later women were included) to serve those significant areas that would provide an “assist” to the Supreme Leaders of the Church, namely the Bishops. Later, with the increasing growth of the Office of the Apostle (some believing that this office is the highest ranking spiritual office in the Body of Christ), apostolic adjutants were also added to the corps of generals.
PROTOCOL: Many pastors now have adjutants because they have erroneously COPIED from higher ranking officials, often desiring the servitude and honor given to these high ranking officials, but not understanding the concept and protocol of such. Because an adjutant is assigned to the highest ranking official of the church in general, pastors should not have adjutants, but assistants, aids, deacons, and "armour bearers" (if they understand that terminology and what it REALLY means).
Adjutants are reserved for duly consecrated and ordained Episcopates (Bishops and Apostles with a Bishopric or Apostolic See).
The term Adjutant was not developed or established by Bishop J. Delano Ellis. The term is an old one most often used in the military. What exactly is an adjutant? Many people in the church have ignorantly copied this term, thinking that it is only someone who carries the pastors bags, drives them around, or is a "gopher" for them.
Adjutant \Ad"ju*tant\, n. [L. adjutans, p. pr. of adjutare to
help. See Aid.]
Hence, and adjutant is:
A helper; an assistant.
- In the Military, it is: A regimental staff officer, who assists the
colonel, or commanding officer of a garrison or regiment,
in the details of regimental and garrison duty.
an officer who acts as military assistant to a more senior officer
- Adjutant is a military rank or appointment.
- In some armies it is an officer who assists a more senior officer, while in other armies it is a rank, which normally corresponds roughly to a Commonwealth Staff Sergeant or Warrant Officer.
The Adjutant General - (Military), the principal staff officer of an army, through
whom the commanding general receives communications and issues military orders.
It is from this principle that Bishop Ellis derived the term and office of the adjutantcy.
However, it is nothing new within the Church, particularly the Catholic Church, and some churches in the East. In fact, Catholic Bishops already had such a designation --that is COADJUTOR--which is also an aid or assistant to a high ranking official. In Catholicism, the coadjutor is an assistant to a Bishop. The term means "co-worker", "assistant", a "helper", "aid" or "supporter".
In Protestantism, it is "adjutant", and in Catholicism, it is "coadjutor:--same office, same function, same qualities and characteristics.
Within the Adjutancy, is the need to exercise the greatest tact, piety, dignity, timeliness, confidentiality and non-familiarity. This role also required that of maintaining the best social relationships with peers and superiors. Currently, at the Pentecostal Church of Christ, where Bishop Ellis serves as Senior Pastor, there are two main facets of the Adjutancy.
The primary role an Adjutant in the church (especially in Pentecostal circles) is to sanctify the leader in the eyes of the people (as Joshua and Caleb did for Moses), create a positive atmosphere for the leader and the people, and to oversee the vestments of all Priests and Levites.
Within the Adjutancy as developed by Bishop Ellis, there are four divisions, the first being the Verger who is responsible for the processional cross and the torches (when needed), and for the transportation of the Shepard staff. Secondly, the Adjutant Chamberlain is responsible for the care and selection of the Episcopal Vestments, maintaining the Episcopal Chamber and for the color coordination with the Ecclesiastical year. Third, the Adjutant is responsible for the escort and assist of the Bishops, Overseers and/or the executive guests. The last division is the Adjutant Apostolic.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
In America, for example, many people refer to clergy persons, their pastors, "televangelists" and bishops by first name. I remember a time when we could identify clergy by their attire. In the community, many ministers wore suits or clergy collars. Today, however, many clergy have moved away from that...this stemmed from a movement initiated by predominantly charismatic circles. This was done to make the clergy appear to be more "human" and touchable. But has this backfired? Positively correlated to this "familiarity" is the rise of crime and immorality.
America as whole has succumbed to this form of "familiarity" and disrespect. If you are over 35, (especially in those within tribal and African American communities), you may remember when we said, "Yes Ma'am", and "No Sir"---these were entitlements of respect (just as calling Jesus "LORD" was an entitlement of great honor and esteem in His day). You can also remember when people referred to your parents, they referred to them as Mrs. and Mr. But now when bill collectors call your house, they ask for you by first name, as though they know you in an intimate or close relationship. Calling one by his or her first name was a indication of being in a close, personal, and intimate relationship. It also connoted equality and sameness with regard to rank, age, or function. There is an old saying that somehow seems to ring true, "familiarity breeds contempt".
clergy persons by their first names--with or without a title!!!
Just as in most families, it is unacceptable to refer to parents and grandparents by first name, under no circumstance is it acceptable for lay people or fellow clergy (especially lower ranking,) to refer to religious leaders by first name. While it is common in many non-denominational circles to refer to pastors by their title plus first name, this too is a breach of ecclessiastical protocol. While we may honor the leader's preference for title + first name, we should understand that it is not proper protocol and should not, therefore, be used with other pastors and leaders outside of that local assembly or organization.
The fault of Christianity is that many of its adherents simply copy ignorance from others because it is popular without properly researching or discerning doctrines, dogmas, and practices. Many Christians do not think there are ANY rules or principles which guide our thinking and behaviors. This is due in part to unbalanced teaching and dogma about "grace" in the New Testament Church.
Of course, we often hear it erroneously proclaimed, "Jesus had no title, Paul had no title..." NOT! When the scriptures detail conversations between Jesus and others, Jesus was often referred to with a title (e.g. Rabbi, Rabboni, Master Teacher, Son of Man, etc). Paul would always refer to himself in his alleged writings as Apostle. We now refer to Jesus, who to many, is God himself by an earthly name, with no title. Not at all the way Jesus referred to his God....
Entitlement and Salutatory Address
In formal settings, and high services, it is proper to refer to Bishops as His or Her Grace, and if they are the highest ranking official in a given denomination or organization, Her or His Eminence is the proper entitlement. This is done to distinguish her or his ranking among other bishops. Apostles who are also episcopates (duly consecrated bishops) may also receive those same designations.
Remember, "Familiarity breeds contempt".